Rather than simply sponsoring one Instagram post and moving on to the next influencer, brands should be seeking to form long-lasting relationships with those who best represent their products and values. By naming a select group as ambassadors, brands can expect more authentic content spread out through all platforms over a longer period of time, dramatically increasing the reach of their campaign.
Consider this: a typical relationship between a brand and an influencer will usually involve sending a couple of products and paying a one-off fee that results in one piece of content. This captures their follower’s attention for perhaps 24 hours, before they upload something else that diverts the attention away from your brand. To get around the short life span of a single Instagram or blog post, brands are increasingly offering contracts to a select few influencers to endorse their products over a longer period of time.
Brand ambassadors work in many different ways.
Typically they will be paid a regular fee and be kept in supply with new season products throughout their contract. They will usually have guidelines for how often they are expected to post, but usually are free to decide when and how they promote the brand across their various platforms.
Selecting brand ambassadors is a much more considered process than simply choosing an influencer to work with for one piece of content. Typically, these are people with large followings across all of their platforms that fit in with the demographic that the brand would like to reach. They are often influencers who have had previous relationships with the brand or who already use their products and talk about them organically. As they are representing the brand in the public eye, there must be a high level of trust between both parties.
Brand ambassadors can work for any niche. Fashion bloggers commit to sharing outfit posts wearing the brand’s garments on a regular basis. Beauty vloggers include a certain brand’s products in their tutorials. Travel influencers jet off to different destinations around the world, always carrying luggage from a particular brand. Even the most niche brands can get on board: you could ask a food blogger to always use your oil in their recipes or an interiors influencer to use your paint every time they renovate a room in their home.
There are, however, several points to consider before deciding to create brand ambassadors.
As the influencers that are covetable for such a relationship tend to have a large number of followers, they will command higher fees than if working with micro-influencers. You will also need to keep your marketing campaign exciting to entice ambassadors to want to keep working with you. Most brands will supply free product alongside a monthly fee, but events, trips and other unique experiences all help to keep your ambassadors interested in a long term relationship.
It’s also worth noting that all sponsored posts must be disclosed on all platforms or both the brand and the influencer involved can face penalties. It’s been shown that disclosing a sponsored post drastically reduces engagement on an Instagram post, so content must be as authentic as possible to try to counteract this. Brands must ensure that their ambassadors are working their products into their content in a way that fits in seamlessly with the rest of their posts.
Overall, brand ambassadors create more content which results in more engagement and more reach for the brand.
There is a steady stream of content which results in a steady conversion rate, rather than the spikes typically seen as a result of a one-off sponsored post. Implemented correctly, using brand ambassadors can help to create long-lasting relationships with both influencers and consumers, resulting in a huge boost in awareness of your brand.
Written by Emma Lavelle.
Image by @uzypaws for River Island.